Articles: Press Release
Suzy Stafford Makes Driving History with Gold Medal in Singles!
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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Web site: www.usef.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2005
By USEF Staff and Sally Taylor
In an effort to clarify, please note that Suzy Stafford was the first
American ever to win an Individual Gold Medal at an FEI World Driving
Championship. It should be noted however, that Kate Rivers, of Indiantown,
Florida, won an individual Gold Medal in the 2000 World Championship for
Disabled Drivers, in Austria, driving her pony, Red Robbo.
Derbyshire, England - When Suzy Stafford set out to compete in the 2005 FEI World Combined Pony Driving Championships, she didn't realize she was about to make history-as the first American driver ever to win an Individual Gold Medal at the World Championships. But the Bear, Delaware native did just that, and was named the Individual Single Pony Gold Medalist at the Championships, which took place at Catton Park in Great Britain's Midlands from July 14-17. The success was all the more awe-inspiring because Suzy had only been driving the pony-Wayne and Sybil Humphries' nine-year-old Welsh Cob, Cefnoakpark Bouncer-for a few weeks.
"I'm still sort of shell-shocked," exclaimed Stafford. "I can't believe that it happened. I went into it just as another competition and I drove the way that I usually drive. I gave a hundred percent and this time it worked out!"
Stafford was originally selected to the U.S. Team with Beverley Lescher's Morgan pony, Courage to Lead. But just days before the mare was due to be shipped, she pulled a muscle, rendering her unfit for competition. Bouncer was already in England and without a driver for the competition, so Stafford wrote to the Humphries and applied to the USEF for a substitution, in accordance with selection procedures. After all the arrangements were complete, Stafford made the trip to England, where she had a little more than two weeks to bond with the pony before the World Championships.
"He's not a real complicated pony," said Stafford. "And he tries his best for you all the time."
The duo began their path to the Gold Medal at Catton Park with a third place in dressage. They followed this with a fifth in the marathon, a little more to Stafford's surprise. "On dressage day, he was excellent. He couldn't have been better," said Stafford. "He was probably a hundred percent better in the marathon though, a far as a more forward attitude and galloping around the hazards."
These combined scores put her in first place overall before the final phase-the cones. Here, she had just more than a four penalty point lead over her closest rival. Running it close to the wire with three driving and 0.44 time penalties, Stafford and Bouncer claimed the victory.
"I didn't know at first, because the scores were so close," Stafford shared. "When they announced it, I turned around and told the owner 'we did it!' and she started crying. I just thought I was extremely lucky to be there in the first place and I think the owners were just happy their pony was able to compete. This was more than the icing on the cake!"
Pony pairs driver Tracey Morgan of Beallsville, Maryland, was the highest-placed U.S. Pony Pairs competitor. Morgan finished eighth out of 24, with Gaylen Romeo, Lizwell Gambling Queen, and Single Tree Tabitha Twitchit. Morgan was fifth in the dressage and 12th in the marathon on her way to her final placing. Also a competitive dressage rider, Morgan has been driving for ten years and, in 2002, won the USA Equestrian (now the USEF) National Pony Pair Champion Award at The Laurels at Landhope in West Grove. Morgan was a member of the U.S. Team that finished sixth at the 2003 World Pony Championships in Austria.
Four-in-hand driver, Esther "Boots" Wright of Southern Pines, North Carolina, was the highest-placed U.S. Pony Four-in-Hand competitor finishing at 15th place, driving her team of Welsh Cob ponies, Blunder, Charlie, Danny, Jack and Oak Prys. Wright was also a member of the U.S. Team that finished sixth at the 2003 Championships in Austria. At Catton Park, she was 12th in the dressage and 14th in the marathon.
Overall, the U.S. Drivers placed fifth in the Team competition, behind Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Austria. Their final score was 478.90.
"We all worked really well together," commented Stafford. "It was a family type atmosphere. Everybody always wants a medal, but the U.S. Team moved up a place from two years ago, so the progression is definitely going the right way."
Results from the 2005 FEI World Combined Pony Driving Championship, Singles
Driver, Country, Pony, Score
1) Suzy Stafford, USA, Cefnoakpark Bouncer, 130.40
2) Dirk van Beckhoven, NED, Frits, 131.14
3) Ann-Christine Arvidsson, SWE, Knut, 131.90
4) Susan Denney, GBR, Rolls Silver Spirit, 132.60
5) Peter Koux, DEN, Taffy, 134.38
6) Franz-Josef Lehmkuhl, GER, Night Moon, 139.14
7) Rico Weber, SUI, Aischa V, 147.99
8) Geert Bongers, NED, Liesbos Yvo, 148.01
9) Sara Howe, GBR, Costa Llewellyn, 151.00
10) Sara Schmitt, USA, High Country Doc, 151.91
Results from the 2005 FEI World Combined Pony Driving Championship, Pairs
Driver, Country, Score (complete list of ponies unavailable)
1) Steffen Abicht, GER, 139.11
2) Rupert Ganhör, AUT, 145.70
3) Lars Dau, DEN, 146.94
4) Rebecca Kristiansen, SWE, 147.32
5) Peter Borgmann, GER, 148.26
6) Jo Rennison, GBR, 148.31
7) Jan de Boer, NED, 150.00
8) Tracey Morgan, USA, 150.11
9) Karl van Kekem, NED, 150.59
10) Rachel Stevens, GBR, 156.18
Results from the 2005 FEI World Combined Pony Driving Championship, Four-in-hand
Driver, Country, Score (complete list of ponies unavailable)
1) Dirk Gerkens, GER, 156.77
2) Tobias Bücker, GER, 164.45
3) Aart van de Kamp Senior, NED, 165.34
4) Mia Allo, BEL, 166.26
5) Peter Schenk, AUT, 176.00
6) Tinne Bax, BEL, 176.63
7) Bart Verdroncken, BEL, 177.99
8) Aart van de Kamp Junior, NED, 183.54
9) Yvonne Houten-Hovens, NED, 185.31
10) Ursula Hirschberg, GBR, 186.98
Results from the 2005 FEI World Combined Pony Driving Championship, Team Competition
Country, Drivers (singles, pairs and four-in-hand), Cumulative score
1) Germany: Sandra Broichhaus, Franz-Josef Lehmkuhl, Steffen Abicht, Peter Borgmann, Tobias Bücker, Dirk Gerkens, 428.03
2) Netherlands: Dirk van Beckhoven, Yvonne de Ruyter, Jan de Boer, Ewoud Boom, Aart van de Kamp Junior, Aart van de Kamp Senior, 433.72
3) Great Britain: Susan Denney, Sara Howe, Jo Rennison, Rachel Stevens, Sarah-Jane Cook, Ursula Hirschberg, 455.53
4) Austria: Harald Ebner, Stefan Gratz, Rupert Ganhör, Markus Remer, Michael Broger, Peter Schenk, 475.87
5) United States: Sara Schmitt, Suzy Stafford, Tracey Morgan, Katie Whaley, Lisa Stroud, Ester "Boots" Wright, 478.90
For complete results in each of these classes, visit
For more information, please contact Sarah Lane, Public Relations Manager, on (859) 225-6974 or via e-mail at email@example.com. USEF press releases can be found on our website, www.usef.org .
Text Box: As the National Governing Body of Equestrian Sport, The United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. (USEF), is the regulatory body for 27 breeds and disciplines, including our country's international teams competing in the disciplines of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, and vaulting. With over 80,000 members, it is the country's largest multi-breed organization and annually recognizes more than 2,800 competitions nationwide. The USEF governs all aspects of competition including education and licensing of all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate at these shows.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian federation in the world.